Fantastic Lava Beds, Lassen Volcanic National Park

4.5
#6 of 8 in Nature in Lassen Volcanic National Park
Geologic Formation Nature / Park
Cinder Cone is a cinder cone volcano in Lassen Volcanic National Park (located in Northern California in the United States). It is located about 10mi northeast of Lassen Peak and provides an excellent view of Brokeoff Mountain, Lassen Peak, and Chaos Crags.The cone was built to a height of 750ft above the surrounding area and spread ash over 30sqmi. Then, like many cinder cones, it was snuffed out when several basalt lava flows erupted from its base. These flows, called the Fantastic Lava Beds, spread northeast and southwest, and dammed creeks, first creating Snag Lake on the south and then Butte Lake to the north. Butte Lake is fed by water from Snag Lake seeping through the lava beds. Nobles Emigrant Trail goes around Snag Lake and follows the edge of the lava beds.Its age has been controversial since the 1870s, when many people thought it was only a few decades old. Later, the cone and associated lava flows were thought to have formed about 1700 or during a 300-year- long series of eruptions ending in 1851. Recent studies by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists, working in cooperation with the National Park Service to better understand volcano hazards in the Lassen area, have firmly established that Cinder Cone was formed during two eruptions that occurred in the 1650s.
A visit to Fantastic Lava Beds represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Lassen Volcanic National Park vacation generator to plot your vacation.
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19 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • PS: Not sure why Fantastic Lava Beds is title of this attraction; It should be rightly be titled Cinder Cone. I do not think many people would travel to this remote area (the last 6 miles of which is ...  more »
  • I thought this was pretty awesome. We bought torches for all our kids and we spent and hour wondering across and back. It is really interesting and out kids found the whole experience thrilling. It is...  more »
  • I get excited in the beginning, after awhile I only see black rocks. We climbed while heading to Butte Lake.  more »

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Where to stay in Lassen Volcanic National Park

You have no shortage of options for camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park contains about 400 sites spread out over eight developed campgrounds, some of which offer amenities such as flush toilets. The sites sometimes fill up on the weekends in summer, so try to arrive early on Friday if you don't have a reservation. The park also provides structured accommodation in camping cabins at Manzanita Lake and a lodge, cabins, and bungalows at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. A handful of lodges and cabin-style resorts sit in the Mineral Area. The town of Chester on the south side of the park offers a mix of inns, motels, lodges, camps, and outdoors-oriented resorts in a tranquil setting beside Lake Almanor.
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